I'm loving this spring prick tease we are getting right now. Yeah, I said it, I went there. Let's face it: it's March 1 and we're getting a sort of thaw in the upper 30s and 40s and some much needed snow melt is underway. Large chucks of snow people Non Birding Bill and I made on Christmas Day in a neighbor's yard still linger. However, facts must be faced and spring is far off. I love this photo of the creek with flowing water and ice. Some of the water is so still that you can see a perfect reflection of the trees on the banks.
Mr. Neil describes this as Spring making promises to stay for good but we know all too well that she is currently a one night fling and will be frolicking in the southern US the next morning. More snow will come and hearts will be broken several times over before the end of April. Yet, Cabal, Mr. Neil and Non Birding Bill took advantage of the sun and the warm temps and I trudged through the snow to our beehives.
All four are still alive! The bees were very active today and may flew about. I watched on bee leave the hive, fly down by the snow, relieve herself and head back towards the hive. Others flew to the tops of the trees as if to head out on the bee super highway in search of pollen and propolis. The white snow in the bee yard is littered with be poop and dead bees but if you put your ear to the hives, buzzing can be heard inside.
Some bees were busy pushing dead ones out of the hive. I love the above photo. In the center is one live bee surrounded by dead bees, bee parts and snow. Life forges ahead despite the elements.
After we checked the hives, I went over to a nearby wood duck box NBB and I set up years ago. I think it's a perfect spot for wood ducks to nest, but they do not seem to agree with me. A house wren did, but not wood ducks. This winter I suspected an eastern screech owl has been periodically roosting the box because I've found red screech owl feathers. Today, it looked like a woodpecker had done some renovations around the opening. I opened the side and felt down around the cedar bedding.
I found a ton of chickadee feathers and a very dry owl pellet. The pellet contained the remains of a mouse not a chickadee. I wonder if the small owls will only use this box for roosting. I'd love to have one nesting but who can say if it will stay. Based on the amount of feathers in the box, I'm guessing the local chickadees will be happier if it nests elsewhere.